Don't be scammed
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Fraudulent #Email #Scams

 Don't be scammed

Now I get it, not everyone is tech savvy, or may not be aware of all the numerous scams out there in cyber world, but unless we’re living in igloos or on top a mountain in nowheresville, there are plenty of warnings on the news and from government agencies and banking institutions, alerting the public to some of the current scams, and offering protocol on what to do if we find ourselves victims of a scam.

 

Two prevalent scams going on here in Canada, and I’d have to guess other places in the world, are the ever-growing bank scams and the Canada Revenue Agency scams, particularly geared toward seniors. So let’s get into these cyber scams a bit more deeply.

 

Banks

 

Some of you may have been on the receiving end of receiving an email, or better, a text message, informing that your account has been compromised, or, your account has been frozen due to some suspicious activity, and many more similar headlines . The headlines are unnerving and send alarm bells to us, propelling us to dive into action to want to protect our assets immediately, and that’s exactly the intentions of these cyber bullies. This frightening feeling these bullies instill in us is what can lead us to do stupid things with our spontaneous nature to react.

 

First of all, NO BANK will ever email or text us asking you to sign into your account directly from an email or a text, asking to click on a provided link. NO BANK will EVER ask us for our password or pin number, or anything else of its ilk. If there is a real problem, the bank will notify by phone call, or letter, or perhaps an email directing us to go to our account and log in to obtain a private message they’ve sent. NEVER sign in to any financial or government accounts through an email or text. ALWAYS log in through direct website of corresponding accounts.

 

Banks make this info forthright in all their correspondence, informing the public that they will never ask of such requests as divulging pin numbers, passwords, etc. This is not only for our protection but for the bank’s as well, as in many incidents they become responsible for losses which they have to absorb themselves.

 

IT HAPPENED TO ME TOO. The first time I got one of those texts, supposedly from my bank, it was frightening. I didn’t attempt to open the text. I first thought it odd that the bank was texting me, considering they never even had my cell number. And to validate my suspicion, I called my bank and sure enough they verified the scam. People need to stop and evaluate before hastily complying with these fraudulent crimes.

 

Canada Revenue Agency

 

There has been a huge scam running for a few years now that is so widespread the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have gotten involved to find these cyber criminals trying to rob seniors of their life savings and pension cheques, read about it here. They will send emails again, with links to verify personal information, requesting government issued identification to access links. They will also send emails stating that there is a ‘bonus’ cheque waiting to be obtained after tax calculations have been made and found that they are owing excess funds that weren’t paid. There are all sorts of variations of attention grabbing headlines in their messages to pique interest. And as we all know, money talks, and hearing that we’re receiving some is alluring.

 

Seniors are often most vulnerable and cyber criminals know this. The Canadian government is working very diligently to find these cyber criminals, and requests that anyone receiving these unlawful emails and requests, to please report them to CRA where they can use these notifications for more information to find these bullies and arrest them. Here’s a notice from CRA:

 

Fraud, Phishing Scams and Canada Revenue Agency…

 

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is warning Canadians to be careful of emails, voice mails, even mail claiming to be from the CRA. These are phishing scams that could result in identity thefts. Email scams may also contain embedded malware, or malicious software, that can harm your computer and put your personal information at risk of compromise. The CRA does not email Canadians and request personal information. Here is a most recent article from CRA:

 

June 21, 2016

The following email scam is hitting Inboxes now. This scam is a twist on the agressive Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Tax Owing scam that have been targeting Canadians.

 

The scam email looks very realistic. It is unclear if this email scams is designed to collect personal banking information or to install viruses on your computer. Regardless, immediately delete any such email you receive from your Inbox and Trash.

 

The email scam claims that CRA has an e-transfer tax return to send to you and looks like this:  READ MORE 

 

Read another full article below on phishing scams posted by CRA:

 

http://www.m2financial.ca/news-and-articles/fraud,-phishing-scams-and-canada- revenue-agency/

 

 Here are just a few links listing some of the many scams currently circulating:

 

http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/tax-season-brings-more-calls-on-cra-tax-scam-1.2804420 

http://www.rbc.com/privacysecurity/ca/schemes-and-scams.html

https://www.wellsfargo.com/privacy-security/fraud/bank-scams/

http://www.livescience.com/10041-7-greatest-scams.html

CRA income tax phishing scam still going strong, police warn

 

What Can We Do?

  • Be diligent and suspicious when receiving any correspondence informing or requesting to check our accounts
  • Don’t be ‘trigger happy’ and automatically follow links
  • Do some research. Google search scams related to the issue in question
  • Call your local branch or financial institution to question the authenticity of the request

By researching suspicious requests you are not only helping yourself, but others by informing the institutions of such scams so they can put out more alerts.

Help fight cyber crime and save yourself the grief in the process.

 

Below, find a great list of scams published by Cristina Chipurici, content marketer for Heimdal security blog:

 

Top Online Scams Used by Cyber Criminals

 

“Cyber criminals affected the online businesses and individuals since the internet networks first appeared and spread all over the world.

Internet services and websites make it easy for us to pay bills, shop, make online reservations and even work. And you can do any of these actions from any place in the world. Old boundaries and human limitations were dropped, in order for us to have access to almost any information. Our lives became so much easier.

But the same thing is true for CRIME.

Our freedom to navigate and access a wide number of online locations represents in the same time a main vulnerability, because an open door always allows access in both directions.

Criminal minds can reach these days further than before, into our private lives, our homes and work offices. And there is little we can do about it. . .”  CONTINUE READING 

 

Source:  https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/top-online-scams/

 

**Note**- I sure wouldn’t like to hear that any of you have been lured into any of these scams. And on a completely different note I’m wondering if I may ask you all to keep check on your spam once in awhile. It’s come to my attention from a few of you this week that your not receiving my comments and I’ve been told that some of you are finding them in spam on your blogs. On the same token, I spend at least 2 hours every night reading blogs and leaving comments and I know how many responses I usually get from my comments and have noticed very few replies from blogs I’ve visited these past few days, so I know something strange is going on again with ‘Weirdpress’. To prove my theory, I’ve revisited a few blogs I know I’ve left comment on to check if my comments were visible, and they weren’t. So please try and keep on eye on your spam every few days. If this is happening with my comments, I suspect it’s happening with other’s too. 

Thank You. 🙂

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

28 Comments

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Debby this is such an important post.. Only today on the TV morning programme here in the UK they were stating the importance of this very subject. Telling people to put their phones down and think about it and then get in touch with their banks if still uncertain, but on no account give your bank details or on line passwords away..
    I have had one or two calls not about banking by trying to get into my computer saying they are engineers.. So I ask them what make and model it is, ( knowing full well they are scammers ) they ring off straight away..
    The elderly are prone to getting hit the most as they panic and do not always think straight.. I know a friend who got scammed by a false PayPal alert saying it had been breeched etc..
    There is a whole new world of crime now out there who are very clever indeed..
    Banks I think dare not tell us the scale of the amount of fraud taking place.. But when even their own computer systems go haywire along with phone companies being hacked it gives us little confidence.. Which is why I use the old fashioned method mainly and do not do on line banking. But have to use card machines like most of us.. Even then you are watchful..

    Great post and Yes I Rescued you from the spam, and only find you in there once.. Know only too well how it feels when you spend ages commenting and then they disappear..

    Love to you..
    Sue xxx

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Sue for sharing here. I know this crime is world wide. Even though I’ve used some Canadian examples, anyone can go to their own government pages and read these alerts. I also got a few of those Paypal scams (which I wrote about a few months ago), and sent them directly to ‘spoof mai’ to paypal. They like you to send them the scams so they can keep track of new ones.
      And yes, isn’t it infuriating when you spend countless hours reading blogs, commenting, and finding nobody even saw them :(. Thanks for fishing me out Sue! <3 xoxoxo

  • Karen

    Thank you for this blog post, Debby. I checked my spam folder and – discovered three of your comments there. My bad – I should check the spam folder on a regular basis.

  • John Maberry

    We get them here in the US too, just different ones. Trying to get seniors is a favorite of the villains because of the expectation they’ll either be more gullible or more intellectually challenged–while still having bucks to steal.

    BTW: Your comments go right through. Probably I put you down as a safe sender a long time ago.

    My “Weirdpress” issue is subscriptions to one of my blogs not reaching people. Did you see a Johns Writing post this week? If not, that’s why. Jetpack works on the others just fine (most of the time) but they even say on their site that following comments is currently not working. Oh well.

    • dgkaye

      Hi John. I didn’t think it was any different anywhere else with these cyber criminals.
      And glad to know my comments are going through to you because there are so many who aren’t getting them. Just had one author friend check her spam and didn’t even find them there, just gone into cyber dust. I’m also finding when people leave comment on my google posts, my responses don’t show to me, so I’m wondering if anyone is receiving my replies. It seems I’m invisible on Google lately 🙁
      I did get your last post? The one about Hilary and Clinton? Is that the one?
      Sheesh, this Weirdpress stuff is driving me nuts, especially these days while I don’t have any spare moments to figure out why I’ve evaporated with Google. 🙁

  • John Maberry

    OK, despite the Jetpack parenthetical that following comments isn’t working, it IS working at least if you click “notify me of new comments via email.” Is there another way to follow comments?!

    The last post I mean is “The Transport Pod.” http://johnswriting.com/wp/2016/09/the-transport-pod/ My Jetpack subscriber list shows you as a follower, so if you didn’t get it, then it isn’t working on that site but is working on Views. Yes, it is a “WeirdPress”! 😉

    • dgkaye

      Thanks John. Yes, I’m receiving my comments. Other people on their blogs aren’t receiving mine. 🙁
      I’m going to check my gmail and see if I received your last post. I’ll report back through your link. 🙂 Gmail too isn’t sending out every email. So annoying this tech stuff. 🙂

  • Hugh's Views and News

    Hi Debby, as Sue said, this subject was covered on the news over here in the UK, yesterday.

    One of the tips I thought very good from the Crime Prevention Team was ‘The Five Minute Rule’. They said these emails and phone calls are often worded so that they panic us and make us react straight away. We end up clicking links or giving vital information away. The advise was to think about it for at least five minutes before taking any action. Ask the caller to call you back or, better still, put the phone down for five minutes and then call your bank. Sometimes the criminals will wait on the line so that when you dial you think you are talking to somebody at the bank. By leaving it for at least five minutes they will have usually hang up to make another call.

    I get lots of these emails every week and they are marked as spam and go straight in the bin. Last week, I had an email from iTunes saying they had taken payment for my subscription for Apple Music on ‘Ryan’s Phone.’ It was a very clever email and looked genuine, but then I noticed that it was for a subscription that would run out on Sept 31st! I knew then that it was a Phishing email, phoned Apple to report it to them and sent it to them to investigate. Needless to say that at the bottom of the email were the words “Click the link below to query this payment.”

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hugh! I found you in spam! Thanks for the heads up! And thanks for sharing your experience. Like you said, we have to stop and think and not act on impulse, that’s what these fear tactics are geared up to do. And duh, some of them are truly stupid giveaways, like Sept. 31.
      Thanks again for notifying me of your lost comment. I’m having such problem this week with commenting on blogs and missing comments on my own. Just not the time while I’m gearing up to publish. Thanks for your patience and taking the time to write. xoxo <3

          • Hugh's Views and News

            True. I’ve discovered that if somebody un-spams you, you can then leave them comments on new posts and they don’t go into spam. Well, that’s what has happened for me anyway. However, it still does not make up for the problems it is causing us.

          • dgkaye

            So true Hugh. And then as time goes by, we can somehow end up again in spam. I think it has to do with the tweaks weirdpress does on updates and results in glitches for us. Always at the most inopportune times too, lol. 🙂

  • roughwighting

    Excellent advice. We do have to be diligent, even in our blog postings and comments. Fortunately my guy is a techno nerd, so he ‘cleans up’ my computer every few days to get rid of any ‘fishing’ or ‘scamming’ going on. I don’t pretend to understand it all. I just keep believin’ that it’s mostly ‘good people’ out there and meet them (like you and your wonderful presence here); on the other hand, I don’t ignore the fact that we must be diligent of strange (or too formal, like notices from ‘big banks, gov’t, etc.) e-mails and phone calls.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Pam.You are lucky to have a ‘techno nerd’ lol. It’s so important to keep on top of all the nasty issues that arise from using our computers, and many (like me) who have to do it ourselves, find it so time consuming, yet necessary. There are lots of good people, especially in our community. But there are criminals always trying to take advantage of good spirits too. Forewarned is forearmed. 🙂

  • elainemansfield

    I’m a non-compliant old lady. I don’t open any link or attachment that arrives with no message or a non-personal message or a “the world is going to end if you don’t do this immediately” message–even if the email or text is from my best friend or my son. Nope. My son who owns a computer business repeated this warning yesterday after spending many weekend hours sorting out a mess made when one of his customers opened a link from a person she didn’t know and brought down her computer and every other computer in her office. Expensive move. I told my son he didn’t need to warn me. I got his message long ago. Some people seem to crave power and think this is fun. I am so wary…

    • dgkaye

      So glad to hear you are savvy about these issues Elaine, and that your son is also helpful with your computer issues. The sad part is, there are so many who aren’t wise to these scams, and sadly those are the ones these cyber bullies target. 🙂

  • Annika Perry

    This can’t be reiterated enough and thank you, Debby for this clear post. It is always frightening to receive emails marked from your bank etc but hopefully more and more of us are learning to be vigilant. Last month I had a phone call from my credit card company with a query on my account. However I was so wary and when he wanted information to confirm my account I said no! I later went home, called the number on my statement and yes, it had been a genuine query but I was glad I’d checked.

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